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Is Google blocking the discovery of information due to political correctness? (imgur.com)
16 points by mindfulhack 12 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 9 comments

Was pretty skeptical until today they censored pro democracy related searches in Hong Kong [0].

First screenshot shows simply "yellow" - a synonym for pro-democracy stance, nothing is suggested.

Second shows "blue" - a synonym for pro-China stance, first suggestion is "blue economic circle", meaning a pro-China economy.

I'm in Hong Kong so I'm not sure if it's a region specific thing, but it's real at least right before I post this.

[0] - https://imgur.com/a/Zf4piAb

Wow, google has jumped the f*ing shark on that. Another reason to use www.startpage.com and duck.com I suppose

Google definitely makes some searches PC. I think they actually do the same thing with autocomplete.

There's definitely some images floating around during the 2016 election where "Clinton" would rarely autocomplete with "emails" or anything defamatory for that matter; most autocompletes were positive. Goes without saying that most "Trump" autocompletes were negative.

Kinda cringe but what can be expected from a completely pozzed company.

This is a very simple HN share. This title isn't for an insightful blog post like you normally might see. it's just an image screenshot comparison of five search engines for a given query, whose search results say it all.

I really hope this doesn't blow up in my face. Here we go.

I'm an LGBTQ man, and politically on the left. I suddenly wanted to know whether the not often used word 'lesbianism', in trying to find a noun to grammatically express the sexuality of lesbians, is considered offensive or not. It was a harmless enquiry, just trying to work it out.

To my shock, in response to this query, Google acted like the word didn't exist. It even suggested "lesbian" like I shouldn't have typed the word in that sentence. It absolutely is a word: https://i.imgur.com/scdLe3W.png

The winner in this case? Yandex. They seem to never be afraid to show me what I'm actually looking for, if it is on the Internet.

We need to know about words, and to see them with our own eyes. We need them to be discussed, to even discover and be educated about how other people feel about them in our society. By hiding words, concepts, and information in this censorship-level way, Google only lets ignorance increase in the world.

Is this a case of politically correct censorship gone too far, or just a random blip in Google's vast algorithm and an unfortunate false positive? This is not the only example that I have increasingly experienced recently, which is why I'm sharing this particular one.

I fear it is just one in a string of upcoming experiences where Google will no longer show me real information which, from non-Google sources, I know: 1. exists, 2. is most relevant to the query, and 3. Google used to show me.

The other search engines prove it to be true. The fact that I have to even go to other search engines to confirm it is worrying.

Am I being paranoid? Is it just me? Has anyone else noticed the quality of Google results becoming increasingly worse, and even trending towards 'political' censorship?

This one might be a random mistake or seen as a weak example, but I can give other live examples.

Certain words, concepts, and information exist in the world, and Google is starting to have a say of what people can find, even if they're searching for it. People want to learn more about certain things, but Google is no longer showing it to them.

This is chilling. This is a horrifying abuse of power. I don't care that it's capitalism, because the issue is larger than that. The problem and the effect is societal.

Facebook is equally guilty in their own domain of influence - in shaping and censoring culture on a global scale that is unprecedented in human history.

Google's main abuse: knowledge.

Facebook's main abuse: culture. (and also knowledge.)

To me, very concerning.

To me, Google's result seems to more precisely answer the question you've asked, as I understand it.

The others mostly give a definition of lesbianism which is fine but may or may not tell you whether it's offensive in context. Whereas the Google top result is to a page about specifically avoiding offensive bias, and and the second is generally about homosexual terminology.

If you wanted the definition of lesbianism, why not search definition of lesbianism?

Also there's nothing offensive about lesbianism so why would you think Google is censoring it? It just means "being a lesbian".

>Am I being paranoid? Is it just me?

>It even suggested "lesbian" like I shouldn't have typed the word in that sentence

You're being paranoid. Suggestions like that come up when you misspell something, so that's probably what happened.

If you google with define knows lesbianism. This dork makes a dictionary of your search result :

noun sexual attraction or sexual activity between women


Searching for "lesbianism" turns up tons of results.

You asked a question that is extremely rare in English: A question nobody ever asks about a word rarely ever used. Google is a search engine, not an oracle of arcane trivia.

This submission is a screenshot with unsubstantiated flamebait as title.

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